Daniel De JongGermany’s Nurburgring played host to the fifth event of the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series over the weekend, 18th/19th June, where Dutch rookie Daniel De Jong continued his impressive progress with a season-best performance during qualifying added to a pair of consistently strong race runs.

Having impressed at Monza in Italy and on the streets of Monte-Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix support event last month, the Comtec Racing driver arrived at the Nurburging looking forward to the race meeting having previously gone very well at the track in Formula Renault 2.0.

Steadily improving his pace throughout the two collective test sessions, the 18-year-old qualified with the 24th best time during Saturday’s session for the first of the weekend’s two races. In a rain affected second session though on Sunday, Daniel made a huge leap forward with the 15th best time.

With the inclement weather acting as something of a leveler in performance terms between the drivers with varying amounts of experience in the headline ‘World Series by Renault’ category, the young Dutchman was able to really make his mark.

Race two started well for the Karpack, Boix and De Jong ECOCUPS backed driver and he moved nicely up the order to be in 13th place by lap eight. Taking his mandatory pit-stop just after the midway point of the race, Daniël eventually finished in 19th spot with a best lap time of 1m48.659 seconds (170.6 km/h).

“I was really happy with the second qualifying, my best of the year so far”, he said, “It was raining so that helped a bit but we did a good job to be 15th fastest. At the start of the race everything was going well, I was in 13th but after my pit-stop I lost some time and the out lap was a bit slow. I think I was maybe driving a bit too safe but I’m still learning all the time.”

In Saturday’s 45-minute race, Daniël recorded a 16th place finish after a consistently strong drive through from the 12th row of the grid. Although the challenge he faces in his first year competing in the Formula One feeder championship is immense, Daniël is enjoying every minute.

He added: “It’s great racing with so many talented and experienced drivers as it’s the best way to learn and improve. Of course, I want to be fighting nearer the front but that time will come. I like the challenge, you have to push really hard in every session because the level is so high.”

Next on the calendar for Daniël is a visit to the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary, for the sixth event of the 2011 Formula Renault 3.5 Series. The race meeting will take place just under two weeks from now on 2nd/3rd July.